Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Overcoming Charisma

Ever think of charisma as being a quality to overcome? Read this fascinating article and discover why "presence" is much more valuable.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Cracked Water Pot

I have always loved this story. The beauty and perfection of "imperfection." This bearer believes it bears repeating...
The Cracked Water Pot

A water bearer had two large pots. Each
hung on either end of a pole which he carried
across his neck.

One of the pots had a crack in it. The other pot
was perfect and always delivered a full portion
of water at the end of the long walk from the
stream to the master's house. The cracked pot
always arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the
bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of
water in his master's house.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its
accomplishments, perfect to the end for
which it was made. But the poor cracked pot
was ashamed of its own imperfection, and
miserable that it was able to accomplish
only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a
bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one
day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, and I
want to apologize to you."

Why?" asked the bearer. "What are you ashamed of?"

"I have been able, for these past two years, to
deliver only half my load because this crack in my
side causes water to leak out all the way back to
your master's house. Because of my flaws, you have
to do all of this work, and you don't get full
value from your efforts," the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked
pot, and in his compassion he said, "As we return
to the master's house, I want you to notice the
beautiful flowers along the path."

Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked
pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful
wild flowers on the side of the path, and this
cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it
still felt bad because it had leaked out half its
load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for
its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that
there were flowers only on your side of your path,
but not on the other pot's side? That's because I
have always known about your flaw, and I took
advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your
side of the path, and every day while we walk back
from the stream, you've watered them. For two
years I have been able to pick these beautiful
flowers to decorate my Master's table. Without you
being just the way you are, He would not have this
beauty to grace His house."

(Author Unknown)

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Garbage Therapy

Why wait? It was 6:45am and still dark. If I leave now, I thought to myself, I could catch the sunrise. And so I did. Continuing on the "theme" of a post from last week, it was time for "Garbage Therapy."

So what exactly is garbage therapy? Therapy meant to clear the mind of crap. It's really very simple. It doesn't involve much analysis - maybe none at all. On the physical side, it means doing something to elevate endorphins which increases "positivity" and decreases... well... negativity. Mentally, it involves causing the brain to reframe a thought and consequential feeling. Depending upon who you read in the literature, thoughts cause feelings OR feelings cause thoughts. Putting the debating society aside for now, Nike says it best - Just Do It. And so I did. Except...

I hadn't checked the weather forecast. And I was going for a run - which is why I was setting out to begin with. Rain and dark skies clouded my vision of that perfect sunrise. Isn't life just like that sometimes? You have a spontaneous thought, take action on it - and if conditions are not "perfect", you feel like the fly who just hit your windshield. Splat. A great idea turned into crap. Or was that "garbage mind" talking?

Determine to achieve today's running goal, I decided to take my garbage thinking and put it in the garbage "outbox" and come up with an empowering context for the circumstances I found myself in.

Once I did that, I started thinking creatively. I thought about how I could write about this. I then applauded myself for sticking to my running schedule - regardless of the circumstances - hey, it wasn't lightening! I noticed how no one on the running path smiled at each other or said hello and vowed the next time I was out I would say hello to everyone - and notice the impact of that. I then came to the conclusion that having a "lose" mind invigorated my thinking - versus having a tight grip on "the way things should be" and getting pissed off or feeling frustrated. And ... I achieved my goal - increasing my time on the running path by 10%.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Collaborate - Don't Pontificate

Read this article from NPR if you want to discover one characteristic of "group personality" - my term - that leads to greater team effectiveness. Collaboration Beats Smarts In Group Problem Solving

Saturday, October 02, 2010

If Bill Clinton can ...

Health is wealth. And food is the fuel of life. Are you putting "high-test" in your engine or settling on low grade junk. Penny-wise, pound foolish? I will spare you any more cliches but please listen to what former President Bill Clinton said when he went public last week with the healthy cause of his dramatic weight-loss and increase in good health and well-being.